Is Managua really that scary?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Oct 25, 2012 8:33 PM Last Post By: jamesbflo
Oct 16, 2012 4:56 PM
Is Managua really that scary?So, for those who have actually spent time in the city, is Managua really that dangerous?
I'm not ready to write the city off and am planning on spending at least a few days there when I arrive next week. I was just curious if its similar to, say, American inner-cities where the suburbanites are all like "omg, don't go there you'll get killed" but in reality, with a bit of common sense, they're relatively safe and just misunderstood?
Oct 16, 2012 6:01 PM
I don't live in Managua, I live in Bluefields which is very much like, "omg, don't go there you'll get killed" but in reality, with a bit of common sense, it's relatively safe and just misunderstood.
But I have spent a lot of time in Managua. Every time I have been there, EVERY time, I have had locals warn me about the city, the markets, the people, walking around and even the taxis. That being said, nothing has ever happened to me. THAT being said, I know a lot of people who have been assaulted and/or robbed.
Truth is, I like Managua. No it isn't safe, in fact, I would probably rather walk through Compton at 1am than Bo. Acualinca at 7pm. So I think it is pretty well understood and not relatively safe. But there is lots to do and lots to see, so check it out and enjoy.
Just make sure you use your uncommon sense. That is to say, keep an extra eye out.
Oct 17, 2012 7:14 AM
2All capital- and port cities in Latin America are dangerous. That said, Managua is a playground compared to, say Sao Paulo or Mexico D.F.
Be cautious and use your common sense at all times and you could visit this city without any major trouble.
Nearby Leon and Granada are much more scenic and enjoyable, though.
Enjoy Nicaragua, it is a Pais con corazon (a country with a heart)!
Oct 17, 2012 7:36 AM
3I dont see any point in spending any time in Managua, when there is so much nicer and more relaxing and pretty places in the country to enjoy and explore. Though I have not been to Managua specifically, I have heard of so many issues, both from friends that surf and transit there, and on this forum.
If you have been to other Central American cities, you can use those as a gauge for the issues/crime and precautions needed, if not, Managua is not a place to learn IMO.
As far as the comment about the inner urban cities in the US, you have to realize how dangerous many areas are for a traveler to go there, like the west side of Chicago, would be insane to go there with shootings nightly and drug and gang wars on the corners, especially of you are white, sorry to say. Even the cops get gunned down.
That said, violence against foreigners in the big cities is not uncommon, they are targets of opportunity to street punk, muggings are the most common, so go out the door with little money and nothing of value, copy of passport and thats its. Take taxis, and dont walk around desolate areas, stay in the mainstream. I dont know if the express kidnappings by taxi drivers are still an issue in Managua, there have no reports for over a year, but people have reported many times of getting in a taxi and then it stops for more people they assault you and drive you around to the ATM's until accounts are drained and then drop you off, it started off they didnt even harm the person or take the passports/luggage, just the money, but then evolved into beatings and being left in a wooded area with nothing, this all peaked in 2010 ish...
Be careful walking around Granada and down to the lake, lots of reports of muggings there too, as well bicyclist on the roads outside of the main downtown. Muggings on hikes around volcanoes on the mainland are uncommon and rare, but do occur.
Also keep in mind, the police are rarely of any help, and can even be resentful of Americans and gringos, so dont expect any sympathy or help, investigations or support, as like most of Central America, you are on your own in the end, tough luck.
That said, the average Nica's are wonderful, humble, salt of the earth, sincere, honest and hard working, its a great country to discover.
Oct 17, 2012 7:50 AM
4I had great time in Managua, but I was tired of the locals telling me stories all the time and how I should be very, very careful... They do live in fear there and I am sure there is a good reason for this... But well... for some days it's not that bad and I live in Guatemala City so I assume I am used to all this....
Anyway, I felt OK in Managua historic center, the laguna, zona hippos, zona viva, disco Chaman, I used many public taxis and the public buses from Managua to Leon and Granada. I was also lucky to be there during the Hipicas de Santo Domingo, so I had a great time, but always being really careful which is really exhausting I have to admit...
All in all - it's a personal choice... I was on a business trip in Managua, so I tried to fill in my spare time to the full, but honestly I would not stop there if just visiting Nicaragua, there are better places to go.
BTW, Nicaragua is my favorite place in CA, so my opinion could be a bit biased, just my 2 cordobas worth...
Oct 17, 2012 8:04 AM
Oct 17, 2012 8:06 AM
6No just relaying what I have seen and read and heard over the years on this forum. I have been to San Jose CR over 35 times, and people say thats dangerous... on my trip to Nicaragua, we would of gone thru it but violent riots and protest and running street battles broke out due to students upset over lack of funding for higher education, the taxi drivers refused to go to Managua that day in Granada, and busses stopped running.
Bad timing on our part I guess..
Oct 17, 2012 9:16 AM
7timbo, when was the last time you here in nicaragua? you should really contain yourself and let people answer that have been here in more than 8 years or better.
and as the other people that answered, just use good judgement. i spent the night in managua last august and had no problems, but was in my hotel before dark.
Oct 20, 2012 12:23 PM
Oct 22, 2012 6:00 AM
Oct 23, 2012 8:32 AM
10Thanks #10. Exactly what I suspected.
I live in Buffalo NY and we have the same reputation, as a matter of fact Forbes just ranked us 10th most dangerous in the US. I live in the city proper and have never had a problem, but I'm not involved in drugs, etc.
I tried to ignore the 'there's nothing to see' comments because that's totally subjective. Personally, I want to do the zip lining and am kind of interested in seeing ruins from the earthquake - if many still exist. Also, just simply the general sights and sounds of a big city.
I arrive tomorrow and will be spending the first few days in Managua.. I'll let you know what I think.
Oct 23, 2012 11:47 AM
11Hi, I visit every couple years & sorry to tell you a few days in Managua would be a big waste of time, there is isn't much to the city at all... it's pretty much the saddest looking capital city I've ever been too. (i have been to many) (and i love visiting Nicaragua)
The earthquakes really took a toll & the only artifact of that is pointed out of the 'the building that stood' as my family puts it, an old 7 story(or so) Bofa Bldg that survived, ..
That said, i do enjoy the madness at the Huembes Market/Bus Depot.
Oct 23, 2012 2:39 PM
Oct 23, 2012 2:42 PM
Oct 23, 2012 4:48 PM
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